Should convincing someone of a bad idea lead to prosecution?
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09-09-2017, 08:55 PM
Should convincing someone of a bad idea lead to prosecution?
Intent is very important when it comes to prosecuting someone, but should that be enough to overcome giving advice that costs someone their lives? Day after day I see people posting articles against vaccination, or promoting cures for cancer that either do nothing or makes things worse. For this I’m going to assume these individuals believe they are giving good advice, and their intent is to help the individual they are giving the advice too.

For years, I’ve used this example. If I have a fly on my chest and your intent is to help me and kill the fly, but instead you kill me. This is an exaggeration, but the concept is still the same. Should good intent supersede harmful advice/action.

Just this year Michelle Carter was sentenced to two and half years for encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself. The law seems to finally be moving in the direction of the results rather than the intent.

So at what line do you believe anti-science need to cross before the intent can be ignored, and the individual is punished for the results?

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09-09-2017, 09:42 PM
RE: Should convincing someone of a bad idea lead to prosecution?
A couple of thousand years ago it led to crucifixion.

Angel

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10-09-2017, 03:47 AM (This post was last modified: 10-09-2017 04:17 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Should convincing someone of a bad idea lead to prosecution?
(09-09-2017 08:55 PM)Coveny Wrote:  Just this year Michelle Carter was sentenced to two and half years for encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself. The law seems to finally be moving in the direction of the results rather than the intent.

So at what line do you believe anti-science need to cross before the intent can be ignored, and the individual is punished for the results?

I think Michelle Carter is a bad example, since her intent was specifically to do physical harm.

A better example would be the parents who believe in faith healing their children. When the children die after being denied reasonable medical care, the parents are responsible regardless of their good intentions. In such cases, they have legal responsiblities for their children and were negligent by not taking all precautions.

However, in the case of adults encouraging other adults to go to faith healers instead of doctors, or to avoid vaccinations, I don't think you can prosecute them for their bad advice since you are dealing with adults who must make up their own minds. However, if the adults take bad advice which results in injuries or deaths, they may be liable to prosecution themselves for negligence regardless of their intentions. Whether the prosecution succeeds depends on whether you can show they were unreasonable in expecting better outcomes. In other words, I expect that to remain a gray area of the law because it's more complicated than just intentions.
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10-09-2017, 07:30 AM
RE: Should convincing someone of a bad idea lead to prosecution?
(09-09-2017 09:42 PM)DLJ Wrote:  A couple of thousand years ago it led to crucifixion.

Angel

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10-09-2017, 11:17 AM
RE: Should convincing someone of a bad idea lead to prosecution?
I kinda lump Carter with bullies who bully a kid into killing themselves. Not entirely, but sort of. Adults telling other adults what to do though...well, as adults we make our own decisions as to whether or not we're going to agree to something.

Parents who refuse their children medical care due to "god's will" type crap? Put them under the jail. But the difference is that's not adult to adult decisions.

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10-09-2017, 11:32 AM
RE: Should convincing someone of a bad idea lead to prosecution?
(10-09-2017 03:47 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(09-09-2017 08:55 PM)Coveny Wrote:  Just this year Michelle Carter was sentenced to two and half years for encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself. The law seems to finally be moving in the direction of the results rather than the intent.

So at what line do you believe anti-science need to cross before the intent can be ignored, and the individual is punished for the results?

I think Michelle Carter is a bad example, since her intent was specifically to do physical harm.

A better example would be the parents who believe in faith healing their children. When the children die after being denied reasonable medical care, the parents are responsible regardless of their good intentions. In such cases, they have legal responsiblities for their children and were negligent by not taking all precautions.

However, in the case of adults encouraging other adults to go to faith healers instead of doctors, or to avoid vaccinations, I don't think you can prosecute them for their bad advice since you are dealing with adults who must make up their own minds. However, if the adults take bad advice which results in injuries or deaths, they may be liable to prosecution themselves for negligence regardless of their intentions. Whether the prosecution succeeds depends on whether you can show they were unreasonable in expecting better outcomes. In other words, I expect that to remain a gray area of the law because it's more complicated than just intentions.

I think in the faith-healing of kids example, the onus should fall on the preachers and other church leaders involved, too. Without reinforcement--and the implied threat of excommunication--I bet most parents would opt for prayer plus a doctor, not prayer alone. I don't know of any cases charging pastors as accessories, but I would love to see one.
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10-09-2017, 12:22 PM
RE: Should convincing someone of a bad idea lead to prosecution?
While this debate could cover areas that don’t lead to deaths, for now I’m just trying to discuss where death occurred. On the point of Michelle Carter what if her intention to end his suffering? There are numerous cases where assisted suicide and mercy killings were prosecuted. Also with Michelle there is the aspect of free speech. How many times have you heard someone say something like “you should kill yourself” or wishing some form of death on another person. So, was the amount or persuasiveness of those statements that caused her to go to jail? Is it ok to say “The world would be a better place without you” once or twice… but at three times … that’s just too much? Or maybe it’s too much when you start listing their failures or maybe even how the world would be a better place without them, or that pain would end. And what about the type of pain as well? Pain from a breakup vs pain from a terminal illness are different situations.

Also, when there are accepted best practices and they aren’t followed we have no problem prosecuting people like Medical Malpractice. I think everyone agrees Doctors intentions is good but the results were bad and cost someone their life. Generally, though it’s only a loss of money, and takes repeated offenses before the doctor loses their license and no they are no longer able to practice medicine. There are rarely criminal charges brought against them, and they don’t serve any time in jail even if they are the cause of multiple people’s deaths. So, there is some precedence that recklessness and stupidity led to people going to jail regardless of intent.

But how incompetent, misguided, stupid, or reckless do you need to be? Does anyone have suggestions or ideas on where those lines should be drawn?

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10-09-2017, 12:24 PM
RE: Should convincing someone of a bad idea lead to prosecution?
(10-09-2017 11:17 AM)outtathereligioncloset Wrote:  ...well, as adults we make our own decisions as to whether or not we're going to agree to something.

If you ever suffered from clinical depression, you know it's not as easy. Someone talking someone already on the edge into killing themselves is not as clear cut as adults making their own decisions.

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10-09-2017, 01:13 PM
RE: Should convincing someone of a bad idea lead to prosecution?
I strongly believe that prosecution should easily outweigh any claims of genuine helpful or life-saving intent by practitioners and/or promoters of pseudo-scientific or dangerous clinical methodologies—and particularly those currently rife in the CAM or alternative "health" care industries. Homeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, reiki, acupuncture, rolfing... I'm looking at you.

One of the most concerning examples was the self-published report by now de-registered Dr Andrew Jeremy Wakefield.

In 1998, Wakefield published a case series in the Lancet, which suggested that the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine may predispose to behavioural regression and pervasive developmental disorder in children. Despite the small sample size of 12 individuals, the uncontrolled design, and the speculative nature of the conclusions, the paper received global publicity, and MMR vaccination rates started dropping—because parents were concerned about the risk of autism after vaccination.

Immediately thereafter, epidemiological studies were conducted refuting Wakefield's posited link between MMR vaccination and autism. The logic that the MMR vaccine may trigger autism was also disputed because a temporal (relating to time) link between the two is virtually predestined: both events, by design (MMR vaccine) or definition (autism), occur in early childhood.

A subsequent admission by the Lancet was that Wakefield had failed to disclose financial interests (EG: Wakefield had been funded by lawyers who had been engaged by parents in lawsuits against vaccine-producing companies). However, the Lancet exonerated Wakefield and his colleagues from charges of ethical violations and scientific misconduct.

What's also of concern is that Trump is a lightweight believer in Wakefield's autism-vaccine "link". In August last year, he spoke with four prominent proponents of the discredited link, including Andrew Wakefield, at a fundraiser in Florida. Trump also watched a screening of the movie "Vaxxed" produced by none other than... Wakefield.

All this stuff poses two questions: Why was the disbarred Wakefield not jailed for medical malpractice and financial fraud, and why do parents (even here in Australia) still accept Wakefield's lies about autism—and deny their kids the MMR vaccine? Sad

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10-09-2017, 01:17 PM
RE: Should convincing someone of a bad idea lead to prosecution?
I think malice aforethought would be a critical element to that decision. And I think it is, actually.

#sigh
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